Crystalline Sea Spray and Pebbles
The centre accord of Un Air de Bretagne on my skin, is unquestionably a sea spray effect, and it's at the front right from the start. I usually struggle with salty, aquatic, calone-heavy fragrances, but this sea spray accord in Un Air de Bretagne is like a rejuvenated version of the popular 90s theme and surprisingly wearable to me.
It's salty, but I detect nothing fish-smelling. Instead, it smells like pebble stones, sand and iodine, and the inorganic feeling is further enhanced by the mineral aspect of ambroxan. It's fresh, but not really in an aquatic, watery way; rather, it's crystalline and airy, like the air by the sea.
This sea spray accord is mainly supported by bergamot and neroli on my skin. Their aromatic greenery adds sparkles in the opening, which is then replaced by a balsamic, almost caramelised but diaphanous amber sweetness in the dry down. The sillage is mostly close to skin during its 7-hour longevity on my skin.
The first time I tested Un Air de Bretagne, I thought it smelt very close to Hermès Eau des Merveilles Bleue, which was released in spring of the same year. After comparing them side by side, I find a few differences, but the overall crystalline, iodine sea mist evocation is very similar. Un Air de Bretagne features bergamot and neroli, while Hermès opted for lemon and a more prominent white musk, but the sea spray/pebble stone/sand accord is in the same vein.
Since its purchase by Puig and change of packaging, the fragrances that L'Artisan put out in their main line are all very straightforward in structure, but still retain an idyllic, naturalistic and poetic sensation. Un Air de Bretagne is no exception, like an olfactory haiku capturing the air of Brittany shore on a breezy sunny day (which is not very frequent...). Although I doubt it would completely reverse the aversion to marine fragrances, Un Air de Bretagne is worth a try if you're ready to take on the genre, or are currently looking for a fresh, crystalline, sea spray fragrance.